A Room With a View (of the Indian Ocean)

I arrived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, just over two weeks ago, and until Saturday, it felt like I hadn’t had a moment to rest. Between taking four hours of Swahili classes at the University of Dar es Salaam every morning, interning with the Environment Media Agenda every afternoon, and spending a few hours on homework each night, my days are packed. Luckily, we got to spend the weekend taking a mini-vacation in the coastal town of Bagamoyo, about an hour and a half away from Dar. We visited the ruins of Kaole, one of the oldest mosques in mainland Tanzania. On our tour, we also visited a mangrove forest that serves as a breeding ground for crabs – imagine hundreds of inch-long crab babies scuttling around and burrowing in the mud. We spent some time at Bagamoyo’s Catholic Museum and learned more about the slave trade, the collapse of which led to the end of Bagamoyo as a significant port. Finally, we walked through the fish market and got a close-up view of the fishing boats. That’s a smell that will never leave me.

We stayed at the Bagamoyo Country Club, which had a semi-private beach and the most incredible views of the Indian Ocean. We spent Sunday relaxing near the water and I didn’t even get sunburned! I also finished a couple of really mediocre books I’ve been struggling through – most summers, I average a book every couple of days, but recently my picks have not been particularly compelling.

We’ve only got three more days of class before we head to Zanzibar on June 16th, which is sure to be an amazing weekend. Because I’m me, I managed to break my computer on our second day in Tanzania, but once I get back to the States I’ll include more photos of our outings. Until then, enjoy these grainy cell phone pictures of the Indian Ocean.

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